Talking to the Opposition: Norwich fans

    1. How has your pre-season gone? Results wise and performance wise?

    Pabs: Results have been mixed – a win and two defeats on the USA tour but undefeated since – draws away at Braga and Brighton and home to Real Sociedad. A win at home to Panathanaikos to round off pre season. Performances have been ‘solid’ in typical Hughton style, although there is a feeling we still need more firepower up front and to be a bit more expansive. Overall, despite one or two injury scares, it’s been a good pre season.

    Splendid Rush: Pretty mixed really, but nothing to particularly worry nor write home about. I think most of us know not to look into pre-season too much, while at the same time not being able to help it. It’s the nature of being a fan, you always want to win.

    Skijumptoes: Slow but steady progress, Match fitness being the priority. Results, not great if i’m honest, performances quite bland on the main but with more improvement in the final couple of matches.

    refjezdavies: A real mixed bag, some draws against tough european opposition, a few loses against American teams who were much fitter than us, no major injuries (other than Hooper but should be ok).

    2. Everybody believes you’ve made some good summer signings, including two Everton targets. Have you seen much of them in pre-season and if so, how have they done?

    ryanncfc: We have made 7 signings, most notably in RVW, Fer and Redmond. As I said above I only went to one friendly, so would be unfair to say how they performed pre season, but I have heard some very promising things about Fer and Redmond in particular

    Thisisbabyish: Fer looks a steal. Always seems to have time on the ball to pick his pass or find space. Same with RVW really classy looking player. We’ve always been an industrious hardworking team now we have quality to add to that.

    Jimmy Smith: Fer was outstanding vs Sociedad and looks like he’ll be colossal for us (luckily for you he’ll be suspended 1st game). Redmond has been standout performer with great pace, tricks and an end product, as demonstrated with a MOTM performance vs Scotland U21s

    3. Have you made enough signings? Is there anywhere you haven’t yet improved which you feel you needed to?

    The New Boy: We could do with a second striker / attacking centre midfielder to compete with Hoolahan who we rely on a little too much, we have been linked with some excellent players in that spot. Could probably cope without one of those if needs must. More important in my opinion is another centre back, we don’t have much depth there. Have been linked with a few, I’d quite like Michael Mancienne.

    jas the barclay king: We need another Striker – competition for places will ensure everyone gives their absolute best!

    87canary: Would like to see another attacking mid/second striker. Possibly a centre back too.

    4. Who will be your key player/s this season?

    Brighton Yellow: The obvious players are RvW and Hooper. We lacked goals horribly at times last year and their jobs are clear. If they perform and our defence matches last year then we are in for a satisfying season. Add to this Leroy Fer who as mentioned before could be an amazing player. Also, having John Ruddy fit for the whole season will be like having a new season. The man is immense, his presence clearly fills the whole stadium with massive confidence. Nearly all of our big results involved the big man.

    The New Boy: John Ruddy. Probably odd to pick a goalkeeper, especially with so many exciting new signings, but the whole team seems to play with less nervousness with him between the sticks and I think he will be worth a lot of points to us again this season.

    Jimmy Smith: Bassong and Ruddy being there transforms the defence, so again i’d say them. Hopefully the likes of Redmond, Fer, Hooper and RVW can make us more threatening, particularly Redmond as i hope we convert our defensive game to a counter attacking one away from home.

    5. What are your expectations of the season?

    refjezdavies: Primarily safety, then progression from last year as we have done for the last four seasons! 9th would be good with a points total of 49/50.

    Splendid Rush: I’d expect to finish around the same position as last year, but hopefully make an easier job of it. We hovered too close to relegation last year, I’d be more than happy for a solid mid-table all season, with a decent cup run.

    6. What are your thoughts on Chris Hughton? Is he the man to take you forward?

    Pabs: He certainly is. His signings have been excellent and he fulfilled the brief of staying up. Although, finishing 11th was slightly lucky as the last 3 months were pretty scary, he needs to learn when to be more positive and to make subs a little earlier when we are struggling. But overall he s a likeable, honest manager who is slowly making a difference.

    Skijumptoes: Nice guy, Clean sheets are his priority, he has already taken us forward with survival, great in the transfer window, can assemble a top squad on a budget, but lacks the killer instinct and excitement that we had under Lambert – Fans are still split on his philosophies but all have the utmost of respect for what he’s doing here.

    Brighton Yellow: The man is a real class act and I have a lot of respect for him. He is the opposite of your melted face w*nkers such as Redknapp and Warnock. Last year was very much about making do with him focussing on sorting the defence. He did this admirably well for most of the time. Step two is now to address the goalscoring. I just hope for all our sakes that the more moronic section of our fans who still pine for Lamberts quite frankly balmy tactics keep their mouths shut when things aren’t going so well.

    Moving on to Everton…

    7. The Blues have seen a new manager take the Goodison reigns. What do you make of Roberto Martinez? How do you think he will fare at Everton?

    ryanncfc: . Undecided. He kept Wigan in the League and won the cup, but I’m not sure if he really succeeded though! Wigan are a small club and were punching well above their weight for years, but for any side, if you are in a league that long, you should see some improvement, which Wigan never really did. Not too sure what he will bring to the Toffee’s.

    87canary: I think he is overrated. (sorry). As a person I like him. He seems genuine. But I don’t understand how he can be that close to relegation every season and still regarded as a top manager. If I were an Everton fan, his signings would worry me.

    The New Boy: I think he is a good appointment but only if you are prepared to give him time. His style of football is different to the one that you are used to, he will need to mould a Moyes squad into a Martinez squad but I think it could work out well for you as long as you don’t expect instant results. Can see no reason why Everton can’t continue to challenge for top 6/7 finishes but don’t expect you to get there this season. If you lose Baines and Fellaini then the man is going to need a years grace and allowed to get away with a mid-table finish. Just like Moyes is going to need time at Man Utd.

    8. If, hypothetically, you could sign any ONE Everton player for free, who would it be and why?

    Thisisbabyish: Baines – that left foot is to die for! You cant put a price on perfect delivery.

    Splendid Rush: Fellaini. He’s a beast.

    Jimmy Smith: Would probably be Fellaini, but if i’m going to be original, i’d like Mirallas. He’d be ideal foil for RVW.

    Pabs: Maybe an unusual answer, but I would go for Steven Pienaar. I have always loved his tenacity and the way he attacks down the left and through the middle.

    9. Where do you think us Toffee’s will finish this season?

    refjezdavies: 13th/14th

    Pabs: I think you will finish 8th.

    The New Boy: I can’t see you finishing as high as 6th or 7th this season, but top half, perhaps 8th or 9th, with things improving for you after that. On the positive side for Everton fans, Martinez is an FA Cup winning manager and Moyes is not.

    Skijumptoes: 8-12th – You’ll be strongest mid season, with poor start and finish.

    Brighton Yellow: Somewhere between 9th and 6th probably provided Martinez gets going early and you retain the some key players. It will be interesting to see how Lollerpool perform this year as many suspect them to push on this season. I suspect it will be close between the Blues and Reds again.

    ryanncfc: Anywhere between 6th-14th! Reall can’t tell with your new gaffer, will be interesting to see how it all goes.

    Jimmy Smith: 8th

    87canary: Despite my doubts about his signings, Kone does score goals and Robles is a good keeper. You should be looking to finish above Liverpool, but I don’t think you’ll quite do it. 9th.

    Splendid Rush: I think you’ll finish about 9th. A poor start followed by a late rally.

    jas the barclay: Relegation or skin of the teeth last day pant wetting survival!

    Thisisbabyish: Top 10.


    Finally, the match…


    10. Who will be your biggest threat to the Everton side on Saturday? (Now Grant Holts gone 😉 )

    General answer: Snodgrass, Redmond, van Wolfswinkel.

    11. From the away side, who do you think will trouble your Canaries side the most?

    refjezdavies: Is Kone fit? May start where he left off…

    Pabs: Fellaini if he plays. He is am exceptional player and I hope for your sake you hold on to him. Also Kone caused us problems last season, and Osman always seems to score against us!

    The New Boy: I don’t like the idea of Leighton Baines against our right backs. Last time around Snodgrass did a great job of tracking back and nuetralising him. Pienaar on his day is a tricky customer too, unpredictable and I hope we can keep him quiet. Both teams have some dangerous players who can cause serious damage on their day, and with the first game of the season being so unpredictable it wouldn’t surprise me if we were in line for a real cracker with plenty of goals.

    Skijumptoes: If Kone plays, he will definitely score against us. Baines will be thorn in our side too. And let’s not mention Fellaini, if he’s on form there will be a few bruises in the home changing room.

    Brighton Yellow: Baines and Pienaar have caused us a lot of problems recently and I expect the same to happen on Saturday. Beyond that no more individuals particularly concern me, however if your team is clicking then we may struggle to see the ball for periods. I do wander if Fellaini will be up to his usual tricks as he always seems to be particularly riled when playing us, whether it be because of Holt or Johnson.

    ryanncfc: Baines down the left, with Kone and Jelavic being a handful up top.

    Jimmy Smith: Pienaar down the left has potential to damage us.

    87canary: Kone.

    Splendid Rush:  As above. Fellaini. Although if he marks at corners like he marked Kei Kamara last year, maybe not…

    jas the barclay ring: Baines.

    Thisisbabyish: Fellani if he turns up.

    12. Predictions?

    refjezdavies: Tough…2-2 draw I think goals for city from Johnson and RVW.

    Pabs: I will go for a 1-1 draw, with Snodgrass scoring for City and Fellaini equalising for Everton,.

    Good luck for the rest of the season!

    Skijumptoes: 1-1 – Kone and Hooper.

    Brighton Yellow: I was delighted when the fixtures were announced and Everton at home came up first. We have the better record since our return to the top with 3 draws and a win. I feel we perform better against better teams and see Everton ideal opponents to get going against. I was dreading a promoted side as a poor result against the likes of Palace can put a real dampener on the start and one of the top 4-5 can humiliate us if we are not at the races. As I like to remain as positive as possible a nice 3-1 win will do nicely. Something like a tight 60 minut

    ryanncfc: No honeymoon period for Martinez! 3-1 to City. Our goals from Johnson , Redmond and RVW! Yours from Baines (free kick).

    Jimmy Smith: 2-1 us, Becchio will come on and grab the winner after an open but scrappy game, Johnson and Osman with the other goals.

    87canary: We have done well against Everton since our return to the Premier League. 2-2, or a 3-2 win to us.

    Splendid Rush: 1-1

    jas the barclay ring: 2-1 Norwich.

    Thisisbabyish: Draw.

    es with a goal apiece by half-time followed by a second half where some killer subs make the difference for us.

    ryanncfc: No honeymoon period for Martinez! 3-1 to City. Our goals from Johnson , Redmond and RVW! Yours from Baines (free kick).

    Jimmy Smith: 2-1 us, Becchio will come on and grab the winner after an open but scrappy game, Johnson and Osman with the other goals.

    87canary: We have done well against Everton since our return to the Premier League. 2-2, or a 3-2 win to us.

    Splendid Rush: 1-1

    jas the barclay ring: 2-1 Norwich.

    Thisisbabyish: Draw

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    1. Good to see opinion from Norwich fans. You should do this for most games we play. Just to get an outsiders point of view. After reading the comments I believe that our season really could go either way. We could crash and burn or take a heap of people by surprise and be in the top 4 approaching Christmas! Realistically, I think we’ll be somewhere in between that. Although there will be a bedding in period for Martinez with a few defeats along the way, Everton have too many stand out players not to trouble opposition teams. Mirrallas, Jelavic, Baines, Pienaar and Fellaini should worry most teams we play.


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